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How To Choose Basketball Shoes For Any Age or Skill Level

Published: 2022-10-24
How To Choose Basketball Shoes For Any Age or Skill Level
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If you’re choosing basketball shoes on aesthetics or hype alone, you’re doing it wrong - and probably wasting money along the way. 

There are several things to consider when picking out a basketball shoe for yourself or for your child, such as size, weight and support. We’ll go through each of these items to ensure your shoe selection improves your performance on the basketball court. 



When picking a shoe for basketball, sizing may vary from the other types of shoes you usually wear. 

First, if needed, adjust sizing for female to male sizes or vice versa based on the type of shoe you are looking for. Shoes are categorized by Boys, Girls, Men and Womens types and sizes. 

Second, assess size across your branding of shoe. Sizing can vary based on brand and may be the first reason you need to size your shoe up or down.

Lastly, and most importantly, it accounts for basketball socks, ankle braces, and potential for growth if purchased for a child. Sizing ½ size up is common amongst basketball players to account for these. 



The weight of a basketball shoe is important because of just that. Weight. 

A shoe with a larger sole and thicker support, in most cases, will weigh more than a basketball shoe with thinner features. As a result, the thicker shoes, in theory, can slow a player down when running, jumping, and playing defense. Thinner shoes, on the other hand, would result in a lighter step for faster, quicker basketball movements. 

While these are the general facts about lighter or heavier basketball shoes, picking your shoe by weight is still completely based on preference - and you can choose the weight and type of shoe that suits your game best.

Heavier shoes, even by the slightest weight, generally provide more support - a thicker sole and insole, as well as a sturdier shell. This all helps keep the foot in place when running, jumping, and moving laterally. It’s common to see taller players wear heavier shoes for these purposes. 

Lighter shoes by weight will represent what the heavier shoes do not. They’ll allow for more free movement with a thinner sole and insole, as well as a shorter shell that may not provide ankle support compared to above. Quicker, faster players typically prefer lighter shoes.





Here is where you want to find a shoe that does two things: support your game and support your foot. 

To support a faster, guard-driven game, you may look to something with a ‘low rise’ and thinner fit. This will help the athlete with speed and lateral movements such as cuts and attacking the basket. However, be aware that these types of shoes lack ankle support.

To support a strong foundation in and around the paint and while jumping for rebounds, the athlete might want to consider a shoe that is higher on the ankle, ‘high top,’ with a larger, more supportive sole that absorbs impact.